Jeffrey Eugenides Quotes About Ear

Browse 50 famous quotes of Jeffrey Eugenides about Ear.

"For our own part, we learned a great deal about the techniques of love, and because we didn't know the words to denote what we saw, we had to make up our own. That was why we spoke of "yodeling in the canyon" and "tying the tube", of "groaning in the pit", "slipping the turtle's head", and "chewing the stinkweed". Years later, when we lost our own virginities, we resorted in our panic to pantomiming Lux's gyrations on the roof so long ago; and even now, if we were to be honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that it is always that pale wraith we make love to, always her feet snagged in the gutter, always her single blooming hand steadying itself against the chimney, no matter what our present lovers' feet and hands are doing." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"The window gave onto a view of dove-gray roofs and balconies, each containing the same cracked flowerpot and sleeping feline. It was as if the entire city of Paris had agreed to abide by a single understated taste. Each neighbor was doing his or her own to keep up with standards, which was difficult because the French ideal wasn't clearly delineated like the neatness and greenness of American lawns, but more of a picturesque disrepair. It took courage to let things fall apart to beautifully." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"Madeline began hearing people saying "Derrida". She heard them saying "Lyotard" and "Foucault" and "Deleuze" and "Baudrillard". That most of these people were those she instinctually disapproved of- upper-middle-class kids who wore Doc Martens and anarchist symbols- made Madeline dubious about the value of their enthusiasm." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"A seven-year-old girl can take only so many walks with her grandfather." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"I'd never been this close to the Obscure Object before. It was hard on my organism. My nervous system launched into "Flight of the Bumblebee." The violins were sawing away in my spine. The timpani were banging in my chest. At the same time, trying to conceal all of this, I didn't move a muscle. I heardly breathed. That was the deal basically: catatonia without; frenzy within." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"Certain "advanced" girls understood. Others, like me, thought: knife wound, bear attack." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"Words, words, word. Once, I had the gift. I could make love out of words as a potter makes cups of clay. Love that overthrows empire. Love that binds two hearts together, come hellfire & brimstone. For sixpence a line, I could cause a riot in a nunnery. But now -- I have lost my gift. It's as if my quill is broken, as if the organ of my imagination has dried up, as if the proud -illegible word- of my genius has collapsed." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"He remained heartbroken, which meant one of two things: either his love was pure and true and earthshakingly significant; or he was addicted to feeling forlorn, he liked being heartbroken." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"That's how people live, by telling stories. What's the first thing a kid says when he learns how to talk? "Tell me a story." That's how we understand who we are, where we come from. Stories are everything." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"no reason to mention my peculiarities, my wandering in the maze these many years, shut away from sight. and from love, too." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"Anyone have some mints or some gum?" Bonnie asked. No one did, and she turned to Joe Hill Conley. She scrutinized him a moment, then, using her fingers, combed his part over to the left side. "That looks better," she said. Nearly two decades later, the little hair he has left remains parted by Bonnie's invisible hand." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"It was painful, but sometimes you must have these painful moments where you tear yourself away from something that isn't working." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"The daily act of writing remains as demanding and maddening as it was before, and the pleasure you get from writing - rare but profound - remains at the true heart of the enterprise. On their best days, writers all over the world are winning Pulitzers, all alone in their studios, with no one watching." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"A few years ago in Chicago, I rented an office, and I went there every day. For the most part I do work at home in an ugly room." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"I spend most of every day writing. I like to write every day if I can. I don't start extremely early." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"I was engrossed with the book, I was having difficulties with it, and I just didn't notice the years were going by." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"O Earth, lie heavily upon her eyes;Seal her sweet eyes weary of watching Earth;Lie close around her; leave no room for mirthWith its harsh laughter, nor for sound of sighs.She hath no questions, she hath no replies." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"...that manic depression, far from being a liability was an advantage. It was a selected trait. If it wasn't selected for, then the "disorder" would have disappeared long ago, bred out of the population like anything else that didn't increase the odds of survival. The advantage was obvious. The advantage was the energy, the creativity, the feeling of genius, almost, that Leonard felt right now. There was no telling how many great historical figures had been manic-depressives, how many scientific and artistic breakthroughs had occurred to people during manic episodes." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"The thing was, Mitchell now knew what Merton meant, or thought he did. As he took in the marvelous sights, the dusty Polo grounds, the holy cows with their painted horns, he got into the habit of walking around Calcutta in the presence of God. Furthermore, it seemed to Mitchell that this didn't have to be a difficult thing. It was something every child knew how to do, maintain a direct and full conversation with the world. Somehow you forgot about is as you grew up, and had to learn it again." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"But who knew what would happen once he got to Canada? Canada with its pacifism and its socialized medicine! Canada with its millions of French speakers! It was like…like…like a foreign country! Father Mike might become a fugitive over there, living it up in Quebec. He might disappear into Saskatchewan and roam with the moose.-Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides (2003), P. 507" ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"Early June, Providence, Rhode Island, the sun up for almost two hours already, lighting up the pale bay and the smokestacks of the Narragansett Electric factory, rising like the sun on the Brown University seal emblazoned on all the pennants and banners draped up over campus, a sun with a sagacious face, representing knowledge. But this sun--the one over Providence--was doing the metaphorical sun one better, because the founders of the university, in their Baptist pessimism, had chosen to depict the light of knowledge enshrouded by clouds, indicating that ignorance had not yet been dispelled from the human realm, whereas the actual sun was just now fighting its way through cloud cover, sending down splintered beams of light and giving hope to the squadrons of parents, who'd been soaked and frozen all weekend, that the unseasonable weather might not ruin the day's activities." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"…hearts wrung with anguish, the anguish of having children, a vulnerability as astonishing as the capacity for love that parenthood brings." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"We had rarely seen our fathers in work boots before, toiling in the earth and wielding brand-new root clippers. They struggled with the fence, bent over like Marines hoisting the flag on Iwo Jima. It was the greatest show of common effort we could remember in our neighborhood, all those lawyers, doctors, and mortgage bankers locked arm in arm in the trench, with our mothers bringing Kool-Aid, and for a moment our century was noble again." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"Out past the weekly glimpsed windows, out past the street, lived the world, which had, Old Mrs. Karafilis knew, been dying for years." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"Mr. Lisbon knew his parental and neighborly duty entailed putting the retainer in a Ziploc bag, calling the Kriegers, and telling them their expensive orthodontal device was in safe keeping. Acts like theses -- simple, humane, conscientious, forgiving -- held life together. Only a few days earlier he would have been able to perform them. But now he took the retainer and dropped it in the toiler. He pressed the handle. The retainer, jostled int he surge, disappeared down the porcelain throat, and, when waters abated, floated triumphantly, mockingly, out, Mr. Lisbon waited for the tank to refill and flushed again, but the same thing happened. The replica of the boy's mouth clung to the white slope." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"They had killed themselves over our dying forests, over manatees maimed by propellers as they surfaced to drink from garden hoses; they had killed themselves at the sight of used tires stacked higher than the pyramids; they had killed themselves over the failure to find a love none of us could ever be. In the end, the tortures tearing the Lisbon girls pointed to a simple reasoned refusal to accept the world as it was handed down to them, so full of flaws." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"Discussing it later, many of us felt we suffered a mental dislocation at that moment, which only grew worse through the course of the remaining deaths. The prevailing symptom of this state was an inability to recall any sound. Truck doors slammed silently; Lux's mouth screamed silently; and the street, the creaking tree limbs, the streetlight clicking different colors, the electric buzz of the pedestrian crossing box - all these usually clamorous voices hushes, or had begun shrieking at a pitch too high for us to hear, though they sent chills up our spines. Sound returned only once Lux had gone. Televisions erupted with canned laughter. Fathers splashed, soaking aching backs." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"The time has to be right and the heart willing." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"But maybe the Charm Bracelets understood more about life than I did. From an early age they knew what little value the world placed in books, and so didn't waste their time with them. Whereas I, even now, persist in believing that these black marks on white paper bear the greatest significance, that if I keep writing, I might be able to catch the rainbow of consciousness in a jar." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"Regret, already sogging me down, burst its dam. It seeped into my legs, it pooled in my heart." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"Bubble gum angels swooped from top margins or scraped their wings between teeming paragraphs, maidens with golden hair dripped sea blue tears into the books spine, grape-colored whales spouted blood around a newspaper item (pasted in) listing arrivals to the endangered spieces list. Six hatchlings cried from shattered shells near an entry made on Easter. Cecilia had filled the pages with a profusion of colors and curlicues, candyland ladders and striped shamrocks." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"The window was still open." Mr Lisbon said. "I don't think we'd ever remembered to shut it. It was all clear to me. I knew I had to close it or else she'd go on jumping out of it forever" ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"When I think back about my immediate reaction to that redheads girl, it seems to spring from an appreciation of natural beauty. I mean the heart pleasure you get from looking at speckled leaves or the palimpsested bark of plane trees in Provence. There was something richly appealing to her color combination, the ginger snaps floating in the milk-white skin, the golden highlights in the strawberry hair. it was like autumn, looking at her. It was like driving up north to see the colors." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"There have been hermaphrodites around forever, Cal. Forever. Plato said that the original human being was a hermaphrodite. Did you know that? The original person was two halves, one male, one female. Then these got separated. That's why everybody's always searching for their other half. Except for us. We've got both halves already." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"My family suffered. My hair turned up in every corner, every drawer, every meal. Even in the rice puddings Tessie made, covering each little bowl with wax paper before putting it away in the fridge--even into these prophylactically secure desserts my hair found its way! Jet black hairs wound themselves around bars of soap. They lay pressed like flower stems between the pages of books. They turned up in eyeglass cases, birthday cards, once--I swear--inside an egg Tessie had just cracked. The next-door neighbor's cat coughed up a hairball one day and the hair was not the cat's." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"For the eternity that Lux Lisbon looked at him, Trip Fontaine looked back, and the love he felt at that moment, truer than all subsequent loves because it never had to survive real life, still plagued him, even now in the desert, with his looks and health wasted. 'You never know what'll set the memory off,' he told us. 'A baby's face. A bell on a cat's collar. Anything.'They didn't exchange a single word. But in the weeks that followed, Trip spent his days wandering the halls, hoping for Lux to appear, the most naked person with clothes on he had ever seen." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"Here it comes, I thought. The first ex-boyfriend had been summoned. Soon the rest would follow. They would file around the table, presenting their deficiencies, telling of their addictions, their cheating hearts... But that didn't happen with Julie. This was because Julie isn't husband-hunting. So she didn't have to interview me for the job." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"Dr. Luce introduced the concept of "periphescence". The word itself means nothing; Luce made it up to avoid any etymological associations. The state of periphescence, however, is well known. It denotes the first fever of human pair bonding. It causes giddiness, elation, a tickling on the chest wall, the urge to climb a balcony on the rope of the beloved's hair. Periphescence denotes the inital drugged and happy bedtime where you sniff your lover like a scented poppy for hours running. (It lasts, Luce explained, up to two years--tops.)" ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"He hadn't suffered the eternity of the ring about to be picked up, didn't know the heart rush of hearing that incomparable voice suddenly linked with his own, the sense it gave of being too close to even see her, of being actually inside her ear." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"Sixty trillion years ago a god-scientist dug a hole through the earth, filled it with dynamite and blew the earth in two. The smaller of these two pieces became the moon." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"Her head appears to be on fire but it is only a trick of the light. It was June 13, eighty-three degrees out, under sunny skies." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"...the novel had reached its apogee with the marriage plot and had never recovered from its disappearance. In the days when success in life had depended on marriage, and marriage had depended on money, novelists had had a subject to write about. The great epics sang of war, the novel of marriage. Sexual equality, good for women, had been bad for the novel. And divorce had undone it completely. What would it matter whom Emma married if she could file for separation later? How would Isabel Archer's marriage to Gilbert Osmond have been affected by the existence of a prenup? As far as Saunders was concerned, marriage didn't mean much anymore, and neither did the novel. Where could you find the marriage plot nowadays? You couldn't. You had to read historical fiction. You had to read non-Western novels involving traditional societies. Afghani novels, Indian novels. You had to go, literarily speaking, back in time." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"Dear Mom and Dad,I know you're only trying to do what's best for me, but I don't think anyone knows for sure what's best. I love you and don't want to be a problem, so I've decided to go away. I know you'll say I'm not a problem, but I know I am. If you want to know why I'm doing this, you should ask Dr. Luce, who is a big liar! I am not a girl. I'm a boy. That's what I found out today. So I'm going where no one knows me. Everyone in Grosse Pointe will talk when they find out. Sorry I took your money, Dad, but I promise to pay you back someday, with interest.Please don't worry about me. I will be ALL RIGHT!Despite it's contents, I signed this declaration to my parents: "Callie." It was the last time I was ever their daughter." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"It was the custom in those days for passengers leaving for America to bring balls of yarn on deck. Relatives on the pier held the loose ends. As the "Giulia" blew its horn and moved away from the dock, a few hundred strings of yarn stretched across the water. People shouted farewells, waved furiously, held up babies for last looks they wouldn't remember. Propellers churned; handkerchiefs fluttered, and, up on deck, the balls of yarn began to spin. Red, yellow, blue, green, they untangled toward the pier, slowly at first, one revolution every ten seconds, then faster and faster as the boat picked up speed. Passengers held the yarn as long as possible, maintaining the connection to faces disappearing onshore. But finally, one by one, the balls ran out. The strings of yarn flew free, rising on the breeze." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"Historical fact: people stopped being human in 1913. That was the year Henry Ford put his cars on rollers and made his workers adopt the speed of the assembly line. At first, workers rebelled. They quit in droves, unable to accustom their bodies to the new pace of the age. Since then, however, the adaptation has been passed down: we've all inherited it to some degree, so that we plug right into joysticks and remotes, to repetitive motions of a hundred kinds." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"It didn't matter in the end how old they had been, or that they were girls, but only that we had loved them, and that they hadn't heard us calling, still do not hear us, up here in the tree house with our thinning hair and soft bellies, calling them out of those rooms where they went to be alone for all time, alone in suicide, which is deeper than death, and where we will never find the pieces to put them back together." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"Dr. Armonson stitched up her wrist wounds. Withen 5 minutes of the transfusion he declared her out of danger. Chucking her under the chin, he said, "What are you doing here, honey? Your not even old enough to know how bad life gets." And it was then Cecelia gave orally what was to be her only form of suicide note, and a useless one at that, because she was going to live: "Obviously, Doctor," she said, "you've never been a 13 year old girl." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"A love story can never be about full possession. The happy marriage, the requited love, the desire that never dims--these are lucky eventualites but they aren't love stories. Love stories depend on disappointment, on unequal births and feuding families, on matrimonial boredom and at least one cold heart. Love stories, nearly without exception, give love a bad name.We value love not because it's stronger than death but because it's weaker. Say what you want about love: death will finish it. You will not go on loving in the grave, not in any physical way that will at all resemble love as we know it on earth. The perishable nature of love is what gives love its importance in our lives. If it were endless, if it were on tap, love wouldn't hit us the way it does.And we certainly wouldn't write about it." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
"They were bound for college, husbands, child-rearing, unhappiness only dimly perceived- bound, in other words, for life." ~ Jeffrey Eugenides
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Without stories, we'd have even more trouble recognizing what's real."
Author: Amy Neftzger

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